Gila National Forest

Quick Facts

Gila National Forest

New Mexico

(505) 388-8201

Map

Things To Do

Overview

A rugged realm of cactus and grass, juniper and pine, and spruce and aspen, make up the 3.3 million acre Gila National Forest. The Continental Divide meanders for 170 miles through this awesome canyon country which once was the stronghold of the Apache warrior Geronimo and his followers. Centuries ago, cliff-dwelling tribes lived here, and their cave homes are preserved and explained for you by the Forest Service and the National Park Service at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and Gila Visitor Center. Come embark on the astounding recreational opportunities within this unique forest.

Map of Gila Nat'l Forest

Latitude, Longitude: 32.850236, -108.185949

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Activities

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    The unique landscape of southwest New Mexico may be explored from two scenic byways. Portions of these beautiful byways showcase the Gila National Forest.

  • Camping

    The Gila National Forest offers beautiful camping areas that range widely from low to high elevation, lakeside to forested and primitive to developed. The more developed campgrounds offer electrical hookups and dump stations for RV or trailer camping, while the more primitive offer only a toilet. Most of the campsites tend to be directed toward the more primitive camping experience.

  • Caving

    Call the area for more information.

  • Fishing

    Although the Gila is relatively dry, fishing opportunities can be found in many miles of perennial creeks and rivers as well as in man-made lakes. Some of the more common sport fish found in these waters include Rainbow and Brown Trout, Large and Small-Mouth Bass as well as Channel and Flathead Catfish.

  • Hiking

    The Gila National Forest has hundreds of miles of trails for hikers. From a smooth path through the deep forest to a challenging ascent of the headwaters of the Gila River, opportunities abound for most experience levels.

  • Historic Sites

    The unique landscape of southwest New Mexico may be explored from two scenic byways: Geronimo National Scenic Byway and Trail of the Mountain Spirits Scenic Byway. Portions of these beautiful byways showcase the Gila National Forest.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is a popular activity on the Gila National Forest, and occurs only at specific times of the year. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish provides information on permits, species, and hunt dates.

  • Picnicking

    The Gila National Forest provides tables and grills at many designated picnicking sites.

  • RVing

    RV Camping can be done on area of the forest with limitations based on size. Larger campgrounds offer amenities specifically for RVs.

  • Water Sports

    The Gila National Forest does not manage any open water lakes or ponds. Five boat-friendly reservoirs are located close to or on Forest Service land. Also, a number of hot springs occur within the boundaries of the Gila National Forest.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(505) 388-8201

Links

Official URL

fs.usda.gov/gila/